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Happy Labo(u)r Day Weekend: Day 0.6

August 30, 2008
The PX

Have a look at the sign... (Orin O'Neill photo)

RAYMOND, WASH.—I’m making good time. It’s about 1:40 pm, and I’m sitting in the Corner Cafe, smack in the middle of downtown, eating strawberry shortcake (the only dessert item on the menu). The PX and I both needed a break, and the place has free Wi-Fi.

The ferry ride to Southworth was nice, as it always is. Once you get off the boat and get onto SR 160, you discover people who promote Kitsap County as a commuter suburb of Seattle really mean it. Strip malls, ick, intersections with lights and street signs, good. SR 3 comes up much faster than I expect, something I attribute to having to fix the blue lines on my Google Maps by pushing the slider thingy all the way to the top and dragging the little squares into some semblance of alignment with the road. Hey folks, how ’bout a “snap to” setting? Or better yet, how ’bout being able to save the map from “Get Directions”?

SR 3 is busy. I knew this, but it was still a bit of a shock to find as much traffic, going as fast as it was. Luckily, I didn’t have to stay on the road long, and there were places to pull off and obey the Washington law that sez you must let five or more cars backed up behind you pass. Everything on the road is bigger than the PX.

Pix will be up later, but I got some nice ones in Twanoh State Park, the place where the Emerald City Flying Monkeys have their annual Monkey Run. SR 106 is a great road, pleasantly twisty with nice views of the tide flats on Hood Canal. The place hasn’t been completely McMansionized.

Got another break shortly after leaving the park. Traffic was stopped by a flagger. No one was sure why, but the answer soon became apparent. Earlier, I pulled over to let a tilt-bed wrecker go by. That wrecker came around the corner with a munched Geo Metro on its bed. So that’s where he was going!

The wrecker was followed by a Mason County Sheriff’s car (a purple Dodge Magnum!) and eastbound traffic. Those of us headed westbound got a good view of the smashed fence where the Geo Metro failed to negotiate the corner.

I included E Purdy Cutoff Road in the route because, well, with a name like that how could I not? It’s another nice one, with new pavement and lots of greenery. I was going to stop and take a Steve Williams shot of the PX, but every square inch of anything remotely resembling a shoulder was taken up by the vehicles of fisherpeople. The Skokomish River runs near it, and the fish must be running.

I passed Satsop, home of the uncompleted WPPSS nuclear powerplant. The place looks like Springfield (the one where the Simpsons live), but with two cooling towers instead of one. I couldn’t find a way to get close, and the good views are in the middle of the road, at PX seat height. Another time, maybe.

Elma-McCleary Road is another sweet one. Used to be a highway, but isn’t anymore. Light traffic, good pavement. There’s even a Xmas tree farm. That’ll be in the pix, too.

Part of the route includes US 101. Also busy, also lots more traffic. One of those parts had a sign that said, “Freeway Entrance.” Oh. Not a problem, really. A freeway is, after all, a multi-lane divided highway. Stay right, but claim your lane. If you’re not going fast enough for everyone else, they can pass on your left. And the truckers seem to have the weekend off, so no bow waves to send you bobbing.

The route does include a lot of high-speed 2-lane. But I’ve learned to monitor traffic behind me and be on the lookout for places to invite passing. Go right to the fog line, and slow down a tiny bit if that’s what it takes to give the overtaking driver a hint (that’s you, Mr. green Kia Sportage!). That first segment of US 101 has lots of slow-vehicle turnouts, also a nice one.

Next stop will be the Long Beach Peninsula, then we hop across the bridge to Astoria. Ocean in view, O the Joy… Favicon


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